The aftermath of the strikes may have rattled the domestic box office, which is 13% behind the same period a year ago. But that’s not stopping Paramount, Universal and Disney from spending a record $7 million per 30-second spot to show off their movie wares on Super Bowl Sunday.
Despite the box office taking a hit, most major studio (and streaming) execs really expect that it’s temporary; the best means for downstream monies and eventizing remains in theatrical. What better time to do it than before an audience of 100 million viewers when the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs butt heads this Sunday.
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Paramount Pictures, whose sister linear network CBS and streaming service Paramount+ are broadcasting the NFL title game (in addition to Nickelodeon, which is doing a “slimecast” to pull in younger viewers) have three spots booked that can air before, during or after the game: the upcoming February 14 music biopic Bob Marley: One Love, John Krasinski’s Ryan Reynolds imaginary friend movie IF (release date: May 17) , which dropped a teaser this morning; and the anticipated genre prequel A Quiet Place: Day One (June 28).
Disney might have a shorter theatrical schedule this year due the strikes, but the Mouse House won’t be on the sidelines as it has traditionally committed pushes for its Pixar and Marvel movies. This year, it won’t be shocking if we catch a spot for Father’s Day weekend release Inside Out 2 (June 14), along with the first trailer and a Reynolds stunt for Marvel Studios’ Deadpool 3 (July 26), which many in distribution see as the dam-breaker leading to a bigger Q3 and Q4 at the box office. There’s also 20th Century Fox’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, poised to drop another trailer ahead of its May 10 release.
Universal’s is apt to leave a big footprint with potential spots for several big pics including Twisters, the follow-up to the 1996 original (July 19); DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4, expected to be one of March’s box office saviors (along with Legendary/Warner Bros’ Dune: Part Two); Monkeypaw’s new horror movie Monkeyman (April 5); and the summer kickoff and SXSW centerpiece The Fall Guy (May 3) starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt. Also, it’s not a Super Bowl without the Minions, and after dropping the first trailer for Illumination’s Despicable Me 4 (July 3) during the AFC Championship Game two weeks ago, expect more this weekend from the banana-obsessed creatures.
There’s also word that Wicked: Part One will drop a trailer. That seems odd for the feature adaptation of a stage musical to debut during a mega sports event — especially one dated so far out on November 27. Usually studios don’t promote during Super Bowl for any title opening beyond July, but women do watch the Big Game. Still, Disney has touted many of its feature live-action musicals in advance during past Super Bowls.
Sony, despite having Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (March 22) and Bad Boys 4 (June 14) on the calendar, hasn’t booked spots for Sunday. That’s typical for the Culver City lot as the last time its shelled out for a spot was in 2017 with the Ryan Reynolds-Jake Gyllenhaal sci-fi movie Life. Some studios are choosy over their ad spend.
Ditto for Warner Bros, which also won’t be airing movie trailer spots despite having Dune: Part Two on March 1. Overall, Warners skips Super Bowl spots; last year was an anomaly when it dropped the first trailer DC’s The Flash. Per RelishMix last year, The Flash was the second-most viewed Super Bowl trailer online during the 24 hours after the game at 97.4 million views. And that was a cold-drop, meaning Warners didn’t tee up and tease it beforehand days before (which is becoming standard for most studios). However, views doesn’t always translate to box office: Flash opened to a paltry $55 million and finaled at $108.1M domestic, the movie shackled at the time by its tabloid-appearing star Ezra Miller.
It’s not shocking that Amazon MGM Studios isn’t in the mix, with its next big tentpole the mid-November Dwayne Johnson-Chris Evans movie Red One. Last year, Amazon MGM promoted Creed III and Air.
No word on whether Apple or Netflix is touting their big pics, either.
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